Winston Duke (aka #WankdandBae, aka #M’baku), got a little taste of media spin when he credited Black women for his success in a recent Newsweek interview. Acknowledging that Black women were/are a driving force behind his rising star is a no-brainer, but some publications decided to give his statement a side-eye by coupling it with the fact that his romantic partner is not a Black woman.
The Black Panther star’s initial statement to Newsweek seems pretty innocent (and accurate) enough:
“I have not always been in a position to think the things that made me who I am have always been. positive. My height and my size have made me look like an aggressor without trying, the 6’5 Trinidad and Tobago native told Newsweek. “Now, to be in a space where they’re saying that’s what makes me beautiful, and that’s what makes me disarming even though I’m playing a potential villain, that’s what makes [M’Baku] desirable. It’s been women from all over the world and all different cultures, but it was really started and driven by Black women and I wanna thank them for that.”
All facts there. Yet and still, some publications opted for the more salacious headlines by pointing out that Duke’s apparent long-time partner is not Black. Taking a gander at his Instagram profile a little while ago, you could have seen pictures dating back a few years with one woman in particular. (He has since deleted those posts.)
Other than an Instagram trail, he has been quiet about his romantic life–as most newly minted sex symbols are wont to do, it’s a business decision.
The issue of Black male celebrities who earn a significant amount of their dollars/fame from Black women, but choose non-Black women as life partners has been an on-going conversation with many facets and many valid arguments on all sides.
The topic was brought up yet again over the weekend when Donald Glover‘s critically acclaimed video “This is America” was released and his personal life was brought up and the fact that the mother of his children is not Black and the majority of the people he has been publicly linked to as dating over the years have not been Black.
The Childish Gambino conversation is on-going, especially because he has been releasing new art and his depiction of Black women is under a social media filtered microscope.
With Duke, it seems the his Newsweek comments have not garnered the clickbait traffic some of those headlines apparently intended to receive.
That awkward moment when they wanted black women to turn on Winston Duke for dating a non black woman and it didn’t work because black women don’t give a fuck as long as you don’t try to degrade us.
— INFINITY WAR 4/27 type beat (@eleven8) May 5, 2018
Y’all really want black women to hate Winston duke because y’all don’t want us to like anything. And it’s hilarious.
— Sheetmask Peach (@blackgirlgonekb) May 5, 2018
Winston Duke has said nothing but loving and supportive things about Black women. Stop policing who he is dating.
— ReBecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) May 5, 2018
From all the Black women of Southern Africa. We support his decision to date who he wants. Glad he didnt drag black women whilst at it❤
— Mist☁ (@nockymasuku) May 5, 2018
Welp, try again.